Archive for the ‘Magazines & Books’ category

Banshee Hotel

June 28, 2018

Arriving back in Winona, Mississippi from weeks in Florida, we commenced June by processing and mailing our newsletter. June 10, Martha and I worshipped with the Oil Trough Church of Christ in Arkansas; it was my privilege to speak twice on Sunday morning. We also recovered boxes of used songbooks, which we will ship to Guyana, South America for our brethren throughout that nation.

The following Lord’s Day, we assembled with the Quitman Church of Christ in Mississippi. Once again, I spoke for Bible class and preached during worship. The next day, Martha and I, along with my daughter Rebecca, headed for West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Of course, we traveled through Tennessee and Kentucky on the way.

Martha’s sister-in-law, through her late husband Bob, slipped into a coma before we could get to her home in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Only a few days before, Martha was able to talk with her sister-in-law Shari on the telephone. We visited the family for parts of two days, after which sister Shari passed away.

Wednesday, June 20, we met with the Harmar Hill Church of Christ in Marietta, Ohio, whereupon I was delighted to teach Wednesday evening Bible class. Martha’s sister and brother-in-law labor with that congregation, and we lodged with them.

Thursday, we were also afforded an opportunity visit one of Martha’s brothers in New Cumberland, West Virginia. Currently, he is battling cancer that has invaded his body. The same day, we visited the grave of Martha’s late husband, Bob Noland, in Calcutta, Ohio. We set flowers and changed the batteries in the ‘eternal flame’ lamp. We also met up with another sister in Christ and longtime friend of us both, Vera Groves.

Friday, Martha, Rebecca and I drove north to visit my father in Hadley, Pennsylvania. We also visited two of my brothers and their wives respectively in Greenville and Jamestown, Pennsylvania.

Saturday, June 23, we three spent the day with my son Raymond and his wife in Ohio. We rendezvoused with them in Berlin, Ohio—a major destination in the largest Amish settlement in the USA. We went together to a few sites in the area before dining at the Dutch Valley Restaurant in Sugar Creek, Ohio. Each trip to the region, I am elated if we can visit Amish country, especially if I can eat at Dutch Valley—an eatery that is a destination itself. Repeatedly and astonishingly, we kept bumping into brother Garry and sister Melissa Polk at the hotel in which we spent a night and at various tourist stops. He serves as an elder of one of the congregations in Arkansas which participates with us in our mission work, and I have roomed with them several times when I visited the church there.

It was at Dutch Valley that we met up with Martha’s son Bryan and his wife. The seven of us investigated more of the area before Raymond and Bryan returned to their homes.

The Lord’s Day on June 24, we gathered for Bible class and worship with the Church of Christ in Hanoverton, Ohio. Martha and Bob Noland labored with this country church for several years, and through my friendship with the Nolands, I have been speaking there from time to time since 2008. This little congregation participates with us in our mission work, and they in the past as well as on this occasion gave us used songbooks for distribution to English-speaking brethren abroad. The Hanoverton congregation had a fellowship meal especially for us. I spoke three times; the second worship began at 4:00 p.m. in this farming community. Sunday night, we rendezvoused with another of Martha’s sons at a fast-food joint in Mansfield, Ohio. We also used the stop for our supper break.

Monday, we started for home. Our return route to Mississippi took us through Cincinnati, Ohio. Immediately across the Ohio River lies Newport, Kentucky. There we paused for a few hours to go through that city’s Aquarium. Then, we continued homeward.

Tuesday afternoon, we stopped in Collierville, Tennessee to visit with the Gootam family. Ronnie Gootam recently completed theological training at a nearby school of preaching, and not long ago, Ronnie and his wife marked the birth of their first child. Though mother and father are citizens of India, through birth in the USA, their baby is an America citizen—making for some interesting circumstances in preparation for and upon the family’s return India. Visiting with them are Ronnie’s parents, Joshua and Kabita Gootam from Kakinada, India. All of the Gootams, including Ronnie’s brothers Ricky and Robin back in India, are outstanding and hardworking fellow-laborers in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday evening, we three weary travelers arrived back at my parsonage in Winona, Mississippi. We had made a whirlwind trip to West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and back to our Mississippi home.

Wednesday, brother Therman and sister Sadie Hodge dropped by for a brief visit on the way back to their home in Meridian, Mississippi. Also on Wednesday, coworkers and I finalized Volume 97 of The Voice of Truth International magazine and made the files available for the printing company in India. Volume 95 is the most recent edition to be circulated, and Volume 96 is in transit from India to Winona.

Thursday, Rebecca and I devoted the day to lawncare, while Martha busied herself indoors with preparing a very nice supper and other household duties. We’re bushed—tuckered out!

Throughout our travel, we lodged mostly in hotels—some satisfactory and at least one that we want to cross off doubly from our mental list of lodging places. We don’t ever want to stay there again! We slept in Mineral Wells, West Virginia; Calcutta, Ohio; Alliance, Ohio; Dover, Ohio; Grove City, Ohio; and twice in Cave City, Kentucky. Not its real name, we dubbed the lodging in Cave City as the Banshee Hotel because the elevator there screeches each time and on every floor when its door opens or closes. Not a bad stay, the Banshee Hotel provides a little extra via that amusing oddity. Incidentally, a former hotel once stood on the footprint of the current inn before it burnt in the night!

Back in Mississippi

June 1, 2018

Martha and I arrived back in Winona, Mississippi around 10:30 p.m. CST on Thursday, May 31. Over the next two hours, we unloaded the van and the utility trailer, showered and retired for the night.

Earlier in the day, we paused in Meridian, Mississippi to spend time with our dear friends, Therman and Sadie Hodge. It happened again! I invited them to accompany us to supper out—and they treated us. I told Therman that the next time I wanted to eat out, I’d invite him again!

We departed Ocala, Florida on Wednesday morning for Martha’s medical appointment an hour away outside of Gainesville. On the way, we received a phone call that her doctor was called away for an emergency surgery. Fortunately, we were able to reschedule the appointment for a little later in the morning. Consequently, Martha arranged a chiropractic session with another doctor just a few blocks away. So, she managed to work in two appointments—literally on our way out of town and out of the State of Florida.

Wednesday evening, we lodged in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. Two congregations in that area support our mission efforts. A sister with the College Avenue Church of Christ passed away on Friday from the same illness that claimed the lives of my Bonnie and Martha’s Bob. We felt a special connection with Pam Bradford and her husband John Bradford. Therefore, we took opportunity to attend the memorial service for sister Bradford on Wednesday night. The next day—a long day—we continued onward toward Winona.

 

During our stay in Ocala, we witnessed a granddaughter graduate from high school and another granddaughter be promoted from 5th grade. Martha underwent a battery of medical tests, and all seems to be well for our ages. I was able to nearly complete two Gospel magazines, Gospel Gazette Online and The Voice of Truth International, as well as our next Rushmore Newsletter. We maintained our office duties, and we visited some congregations of the churches of Christ in the surrounding area.

Over the next few months, we will continue visiting congregations out from Winona in Mississippi and surrounding states. Our annual Team Meeting will transpire in July, and at least by the first week of October, Lord willing, we will return for many weeks to two or more Asian nations. We covet your prayers.

Printed Literature, Gospel Gazette & Maywood

May 2, 2018

Monday, April 30, Martha and I drove to Nashville, Tennessee. There we unloaded many thousands of Christian books, Gospel magazines, biblically relevant tracts and such like. We place the literature into five shipping barrels. The agent for Caribbean Shipping Service will haul them to Miami, whereupon they will be placed on an ocean freighter. About a month after leaving port, the drums will arrive in Georgetown, Guyana, South America. Brother Nigel Milo and the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ in Liden, Guyana will retrieve the materials and distribute them to churches of Christ throughout the tropical nation.

Tuesday, May 1, Martha and I finished driving to Maywood Christian Camp outside of Hamilton, Alabama. For two days, others and we helped make ready for the beginning of our annual missionary retreat. As important as cleaning, etc. is the fellowship we experience with those especially devoted to carrying the Gospel abroad.

Wednesday evening, Martha and I made an unannounced visit with the Bear Creek Church of Christ in Bear Creek, Alabama. These good brethren support the original World Evangelism work as well as the labors for Christ in which we engage.

For several days, I have been putting together the May edition of Gospel Gazette Online. Rebecca Rushmore, my daughter, proofs it for me, finding several mistakes that I miss. Finally, late Wednesday night, Gospel Gazette Online was officially published for the world to see and to use. It is available without charge to the user for anyone and everyone around the world who has access to the Internet. Now in the 20th year of continuous online publication, thousands of pages are preserved in the Archive besides the content of each new monthly issue of the journal.

We keep busy, and we like it that way. Martha and I want little else than to be useful tools in the hands of our Almighty God.

Sunday—Monday

April 16, 2018

Sunday morning, April 15, Martha and I drove from Winona, Mississippi to Greenwood, Mississippi. It was my privilege to assemble once more with the brethren of the West President Church of Christ, and it was my honor to present a message from God’s Word during worship. I preached about “Bible Authority”—a fundamental message to Christian faith and practice. Nothing else I do is more enjoyable for me than to teach, preach or write biblical lessons. I set out to glorify God and to edify all present, including myself.

After lunch on the grounds following worship, Martha and I pointed the car toward the southside of Jackson, Mississippi. That afternoon, we met with the elders and deacons of the Siwell Road Church of Christ; the elders oversee Martha and me as we endeavor to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. That evening, we worshipped with our dear brethren at that congregation.

We were treated to supper at an eatery in Clinton, Mississippi after the assembly dismissed. Hence, we lodged in Clinton as well because I needed urgent dental attention, speedily scheduled for early Monday morning in Byram, Mississippi. As it turned out, I needed a root canal plus medicine for an infection and for pain.

Somewhat drugged, I passed the responsibility for driving to Martha. First, she drove two hours to Winona so we could hookup with our coworkers who returned from several weeks abroad in Asia; also, we repacked our suitcase, added more items to the minivan and headed for Florence, Alabama—Martha again at the wheel. It was her job to drive most of Monday, and apparently it was my job to whine and complain!

Finally, we arrived in Florence at Heritage Christian University—the site for the next three days of the annual Indian Missions Conference. After setting up a table of books and such, we made our way to the Quality Inn. Coincidentally, about the same time, brother Ricky Gootam and his son Justin drove into the same parking lot. We will be attending the program together and speaking on the program.

It has been a long day, and the days ahead will be filled from morning to evening. The weeks ahead call for us haul literature to Nashville, Tennessee for shipment to Guyana, South America; attend a missionary retreat in Hamilton, Alabama; and take Martha to Ocala, Florida for the graduation from high school by one of her granddaughters. Of course, it’s time to work on both publications—Gospel Gazette Online and The Voice of Truth International. Life is full and well appropriated. God be praised; we hope to serve our Lord faithfully on earth and happily anticipate an eternal home in God’s house.

Here Cometh the Truck!

April 11, 2018

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It’s very difficult to schedule volunteers to help us unload incoming trucks of literature. We thought the tractor-trailer was coming Monday. Not so! We were informed that the truck would finally arrive on Wednesday. Surprise! On Tuesday, we were informed that it was an hour away—two hours earlier than we were informed earlier that morning.

The trailer has a liftgate so that the five pallets could be dropped on the concrete lot, and so we could take boxes of The Voice of Truth International #95 and Global Harvest into the warehouse at our leisure (since it wasn’t raining). Surprise! The liftgate needed some manual assistance by two men to get it to work at all. Then, we discovered that the pallets from India were non-standard so that the pallet jack could not bring them to the rear of the trailer. Therefore, the liftgate was irrelevant, and the driver was trapped on site until each individual box could be offloaded.

Fortunately, a ragtag workforce arrived. Members from two congregations came to help us. Among the team were senior citizens (namely, Betty Choate as well as Martha and me), the local preacher, mothers and grandmothers plus three youth. Everyone worked valiantly, and the youngsters did the work of grown men. Joined later by another grandpa, the youth and I completed an inventory of many thousands of tracts, so that where needed more tracts can be printed.

We are heartily thankful for help and encouragement regularly received in so many forms. We “old folk” in Winona are few and appreciative of every assistance as we and those who participate with us labor for the cause of Christ.

Read It Before You Can Hold It

January 9, 2018

Today, I published to the Internet volumes 94 and 95 of The Voice of Truth International magazine in PDF format. Volume 94 is in print, but volume 95 was just made available to the printing company today. All 95 editions of The Voice of Truth International and about three dozen books, also in PDF format, can be found at the following URLs. These titles as PDF files are available without charge.

http://www.gospelgazette.com/library/

www.TheVoiceOfTruthInternational.com

Florida Steppingstone

August 31, 2017

Saturday, August 26 commenced with Martha and me outbound from Winona, Mississippi to DeFuniak Springs, Florida. After the costly complications earlier this year traveling back from Guyana, South America, this go-around, we’re taking one airplane out of the equation by departing from Florida to Guyana. Suriname Airways does not enjoy codeshare with airlines in the United States, and neither does it compensate its customers when an 8-hour late flight results in missing one’s connecting flight back in the States.

Along our way to Florida, we made appointments with two congregations in DeFuniak Springs: the Liberty Church of Christ and the College Avenue Church of Christ. I speak annually for the Liberty congregation, and it supports us in our mission endeavors. This was the first time that I have spoken for the College Avenue church, but I have known some of their preachers and interacted with them over the years. One brother there apprised me that he had been using my written materials for years.

Brethren in both congregations were gracious to us, and as usual, Christians that I had not previously met are simply friends that I didn’t know yet. Interestingly, I could not find consensus on the proper pronunciation of the “DeFuniak.” I want to say, “De-Fun-e-ak,” with a short vowel sound for the “u,” but some residents call it “De-Fune-e-ak,” with a long vowel sound for the “u.” Still others pronounce it, “De-Fin-e-ak,” with the sound of a short vowel sound for an “i.” I’m just going to resin myself to committing it to writing without saying it aloud!

DeFuniak Springs was built surrounding a small, circular lake. Many beautiful, old homes grace the outer ring-road encircling the water spot. Apparently, the lake water level was higher than normal. The warm, sunny day was mitigated by a light breeze amidst and beneath ancient, elegant shade trees.

To our consternation, Martha’s medical insurance wasn’t accepted while we were in Mississippi, and my insurance was rejected the other day in Florida. Oh, well! Anyway, now back in Florida, Martha is undergoing a battery of doctor appointments and tests.

Short of any alarming results over the next two days, we leave Saturday, September 2 for Guyana, South America once more this year. We have venues scheduled in 8 of the 10 regions throughout the country. I will be teaching “Bible Geography & Sacred History” to an estimated 165 church leaders representing about 90 congregations. Martha will teach as well as afforded an opportunity to do so. We return to the USA on September 16, Lord willing.

Then on September 28, Martha and I board the first of a series of jet planes that will whisk us away over a span of nearly 30 hours to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). We have two venues in that nation over the following three weeks. From there, we fly to Singapore for a 2-day program of teaching. Afterward, we fly to and around in India to be with brethren and to teach until we return to the United States just before Thanksgiving on November 21.

In the meantime, I am working on Gospel Gazette Online and The Voice of Truth International magazines as well as on other matters that demand attention. As soon as we arrive back in Florida, we will drive back to Mississippi to be with Rebecca for part of her holiday from teaching school. While there, we will process our next Rushmore Newsletter, before returning to Florida for the Christmas holiday. In late January, we head back to Guyana for about 6 weeks. Besides all of this, we will be visiting churches in many states, maybe coming to a congregation near you.